English 120

Literature of the Later 18th Century

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
1 Spring 2021 Picciotto, Joanna M
TTh 3:30-5


We’ll investigate the relationship of literature to other arts in the period, particularly painting and landscape design. Our focus will be on engagements with “nature,” understood as the non-human world and the ground of culture. In this period, nature also served as the foundation for the “rights of man,” yet those imagined as living “closest” to nature—animals, the laboring poor, slaves, and women—could not find a secure place in this discourse. We will explore why.

Readings will be available on bcourses.

Depending on student interest, we may experiment with some nonsynchronous work. Please contact the instructor to discuss any particular needs.

James Thomson, The Seasons; William Hogarth, The Analysis of Beauty; Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno; Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village; George Crabbe, The Village; Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery; Mary Woolstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Women; Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France; Thomas Paine, Rights of Man; as well as poems by William Collins, Thomas Gray, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Charlotte Smith.

This course satisfies the pre-1800 requirement for the English major.

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